Essentially a monologue set within a frame, this poem of 115 lines creates two personae--the anonymous author who gives a brief introduction and conclusion, and the Wanderer, an aging warrior who roams the world seeking shelter and aid. The Wanderer’s monologue divides into two distinct parts, the first being a lament for his exile and the loss of kin, friends, home, and the generosity of his king. In nature he finds no comfort, for he has set sail on the wintry sea. Poignantly the speaker dreams that he is among his companions and embracing his king, only to awaken facing the gray winter sea and snowfall mingled with hail.
In the monologue’s second portion, the Wanderer reflects more generally on man’s fate, urging resignation and control of emotion as ways of meeting adversity. From the ruined walls and cities he encounters on his travels, he witnesses the destruction that has befallen...
(The entire section is 302 words.)